Office furniture is a significant investment, so when it comes to choosing fabric, the choices can overwhelm even the most decisive buyer.   

With thousands of fabrics to choose from, identifying material, colors and patterns that you like is a good place to start.  But, before you begin, review the base finishes in your office environment.  Are these changing?  Staying the same?  Once you have your color palette and overall design vision, it’s important to consider the following before making a selection.

Incorporate Your Brand

Often overlooked, branding belongs in your overall office design. In addition to incorporating your brand colors into signage, wall paint and carpet, continuing the look with complementary fabric/upholstery options in seating, tack boards, workstation panels, etc. will only strengthen your brand and speak volumes about your company culture and image.  For example, if your culture leans more casual, maybe you want your collaborative areas to feel more home-like (or “resimercial”) and inviting. Or, if your culture is more buttoned-up, you might want to stick with more sophisticated or traditional options.

Pattern vs. Solids

Visit your furniture dealers design library to brainstorm options and determine if simple, solid fabrics or busier patterned textiles fit your brand and culture. Keep in mind that certain patterns will go out of style. Currently on trend, warm earth and jewel tones will likely fall out of favor within three-to-five years. If you are not apt to replace your office furniture when the trend fades away, focus on textures–rather than color–to bring interest to your space.

Durability and Cleaning

With today’s flexible, moveable workspaces, it’s essential that your furniture can sustain the wear-and-tear of constant change. Whether you are investing in new or used furniture, it’s crucial to ensure its durability, as most companies keep their furniture until they move or rebrand. Before making a decision, learn more about the cleaning instructions for each fabric.

If you don’t want to commit to an expensive and time-consuming cleaning process to keep things looking good, you may want to choose a fabric or poly product that is more stain-resistant.


Finally, seek the opinions of your employees, as they will spend a large portion of their day in your office. Having employee buy-in is key to sustaining a positive workplace culture and creating goodwill among your team.

With these considerations in mind, you will be armed with valuable information to help you make informed decisions about an essential company investment that will shape your workplace and create a timeless look for years to come.